As I have said many times gifts of time are gifts well worth giving.
Tonight I babysat for a young couple we know with a eight week old baby. A four hour sit while they went off and enjoyed a music festival just a few minutes walk from my home. The mother was very nervous to hand over her baby to me, I could see the flash of panic in her eyes as this was the very 1st time ever for her to do so. I reassured her as best as I could and let her know she could call me every few minutes as I completely understood her anxiety.
The babysitting went smoothly. I held the tiny baby in my arms for the four hour duration. It seemed not so long ago that my girl too curled her warm little body tight up on my shoulder, cooing and smelling so sweet. What a privilege to hold a being, so small, so new and so innocent.
Now... a babysitter in my town costs on average $15 an hour. A four hour evening out would come to $60. That's a lot of money for a young couple just starting out. Usually people rely on family members for that extra support, however in my highly transient town many people do not have family networks in close proximity. Family are most often, thousands of kilometers away.
So tonight when the young parents asked how much I would charge them, I let them know it was a gift on my behalf to celebrate the new addition to their world. I think it can become problematic when you charge people you know for your time. A personal moral issue as friends should be helping each other out without an expectation of money exchanging hands - a community. However many of us know friends that take. take. take. and very rarely give back in return. They burn us out and encourage us to be wary of others that may need our hand. When it's not an outright gift of time event, I think it could be a practical idea to barter a skill friends might have; an experience they might be able to offer or also their time. This way everyone is a winner and there is a sense of equal sharing while getting ahead.
Have you given your gift time or swapped time for skills or experiences with friends lately? I'd love to hear your stories.
Stephanie @ Frugal Down Under.
Our Frugal Lifestyle
- Frugal Down Under
- Passionate about eco-frugality. I used to party hard, clubbing my way from pay-packet to pay-packet. Never getting ahead, just getting by. Then came our much wanted baby with no savings in the bank - only an old car. Changes were made to our lifestyle and we didn't turn back. In the past 6yrs we purchased a flat, found employment, lived below our means, built an emergency fund, purchased a reliable car and saw the financial benefits of our frugal lifestyle. Our only debt is our mortgage. Our aim is to manage our cash flow wisely, pay off our home quickly and eventually work for pleasure, not necessity. Join us on our journey, share insights, tips and tricks to help us and others to get ahead while having a good time.